|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:22-27 Perfect and direct communion with God, will more than supply the place of gospel institutions. And what words can more full express the union and co-equality of the Son with the Father, in the Godhead? What a dismal world would this be, if it were not for the light of the sun! What is there in heaven that supplies its place? The glory of God lightens that city, and the Lamb is the Light thereof. God in Christ will be an everlasting Fountain of knowledge and joy to the saints in heaven. There is no night, therefore no need of shutting the gates; all is at peace and secure. The whole shows us that we should be more and more led to think of heaven as filled with the glory of God, and enlightened by the presence of the Lord Jesus. Nothing sinful or unclean, idolatrous, or false and deceitful, can enter. All the inhabitants are made perfect in holiness. Now the saints feel a sad mixture of corruption, which hinders them in the service of God, and interrupts their communion with him; but, at their entrance into the holy of holies, they are washed in the laver of Christ's blood, and presented to the Father without spot. None are admitted into heaven who work abominations. It is free from hypocrites, such as make lies. As nothing unclean can enter heaven, let us be stirred up by these glimpses of heavenly things, to use all diligence, and to perfect holiness in the fear of God.
Verse 27. - And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; anything unclean, or he that doeth an abomination, and a lie. It is thus evident that "the nations" of ver. 24 are among the redeemed (cf. Isaiah 52:1, "O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean"). The lot of such as are here described is the lake of fire (ver. 8); cf. the "abomination" of the harlot (Revelation 17:4, 5). (On "lie," cf. Revelation 2:2; Revelation 3:9. "Unclean, cf. Revelation 3:4; Revelation 14:4.) But they which are written in the Lamb's book of life; but only they, etc. (cf. Revelation 3:5; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8; Revelation 20:12, 15).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth,.... As evil thoughts, words, and actions do; and therefore he that enters into this city must be free from all these: or "that is defiled", as the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions read; or "that is unclean", as the Arabic and Ethiopic versions; alluding to the tabernacle and temple, into which no unclean person might come; see Isaiah 52:1. No profane sinner, whose mind and conscience are defiled, and whose conversation is defiling, may enter here; nor any self-righteous person, whose righteousness is as filthy rags, and he himself is as an unclean thing, shall be admitted here; only such who are washed in the blood of Christ, and have on his righteousness, and so are without spot or wrinkle; which shows the pure and perfect state of this church and therefore cannot design any state of the church previous to the coming of Christ and the first resurrection:
neither whatsoever worketh abomination; commits sin, which is abominable in the sight of God, lives and dies in a course of wickedness; or particularly is guilty of idolatry, either makes idols, or serves them, or both, which are an abomination to the Lord; see
or maketh a lie; any lie in general; who is a common liar, loves and invents a lie, and speaks one; delivers that which is false with an intention to deceive; or in particular, who embraces and propagates antichristian lies, doctrinal ones, lies spoken in hypocrisy; such shall be damned; see 1 Timothy 4:1 but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life; who are predestinated to eternal life; and though they are naturally, and in themselves defiled and sinful creatures, yet they are justified by the righteousness of Christ, and sanctified by his Spirit, and so are made meet and fit to enter this city; See Gill on Revelation 13:8. It is by the Jews observed (d), that
"the Jerusalem of the world to come is not as the Jerusalem of this world; the Jerusalem of this world, whoever would go up to it (or enter into it) might; but that of the world to come, , "none may go up to it (or enter into it) but those who are prepared", or appointed for it.''
(d) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 75. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
27. anything that defileth—Greek, "koinoun." A and B read [koinon,] "anything unclean."
in the Lamb's book of life—(See on Re 20:12; Re 20:15). As all the filth of the old Jerusalem was carried outside the walls and burnt there, so nothing defiled shall enter the heavenly city, but be burnt outside (compare Re 22:15). It is striking that the apostle of love, who shows us the glories of the heavenly city, is he also who speaks most plainly of the terrors of hell. On Re 21:26, 27, Alford writes a Note, rash in speculation, about the heathen nations, above what is written, and not at all required by the sacred text: compare Note, see on Re 21:26.
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